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About Festivals & Events


Feasts of the Three Kings: On 6th January the three villages of Reis Magos, Cansaulim and Chandor celebrate this festival with reenactment by local boys of the three kings arriving with gifts for Christ.


Jatra: The Jatra is the feast of the God to whom the temple is dedicated. Best at Shantadurga Temple at Fatropa in Quepem, at Bogdgeshwar Temple in Mapusa and Devki Krishna Ravalnath Temple at Marcela in Ponda. This festival is also celebrated in other temples of importance


Feast of Our Lady of Candelaria: Popular Christian festival held on 2nd February at Pomburpa.


Pop, Beat and Jazz Music Festival: The festival is celebrated for over two days in February at the Kala Academy-Panaji.


Shigmotsav or Shigmo: Goa’s version of Holi, this Hindu festival is held to mark the end of winter. It normally takes place on the full moon day of the month of Phalguna and is widely celebrated by gangs of youths throwing colored water and powder at one another. Tourists frequently become a target-it is in good humor just to excite the tourist. This is not a day to go our dressed in best cloths.


Goa Carnival: The original reason for the carnival was to celebrate the arrival of Spring and it is observed within the Catholic community as three days of partying before the start of Lent. In Panaji the festivities center around a procession of colorful floats which takes place on Sabado Gordo or Fat Sunday. The event is opened by the arrival of King Momo who makes a traditional decree ordering his subjects to forget their worries and have a good time.


Procession of All Saints: At Goa Vellha on 5th Monday in Lent. Thirty status of the saints are brought out from storage and paraded around the neighboring villages. The main road through Goa Velha generally becomes blocked with the traffic as people from all over Goa are also drawn to the fair.


Good Friday and Easter: The Easter celebrations are marked by huge church services; the congregations often overflow into the streets or the services are held outside to accommodate everyone. Christian families mark the event with large clean gathering.


Feast of Jesus of Nazareth: Held in Sindao on the first Sunday after Easter.


Feast of Our Lady of Miracles: The event is held in Mapusa 16 days after Easter. This particular festival is famous for its common celebration by large numbers of Hindus and Christians.


Beach Bonanza: From mid-April onwards successive Sundays see Colva Beach becoming the scene for this small festival featuring live music, dancing and entertainment.


Youth Fleet: The event is same as Beach Bonanza but on the Calangute beach.


Igitun Chalne: Occurring in May this is one of the most distinctive festivals in Goa and is specific to the temple of Sirigao in Bicholim Taluka. Igituna Chalne literally means fire-walking and the high point of the festival which occurs at night when devotees of goddess Lairaya walk across a pit of burning coal to prove their devotion.


 Festival of St. Anthony: Held on 13th June The feast of St.Anthony Portugal’s national saint is celebrated in Goa. This festival has taken on a particular local significance. If the monsoon has not arrived by the time of the feast day a statue of the saint is lowered into the family well for the arrival of the rain.


Feast of St. John, The Baptist: Held on 20th June, St.Anthony’s feast day marks the onset of the rains, the Feast of St.John is a thanks giving for the arrival of the monsoon. The most obvious manifestation of the rains is the fact that the wells start to fill up again and to mark the event young men of the community jump into the water. Since each well owner by tradition has to supply feni to the swimmers the feast day is marked by increasingly high spirits.


Feast of Saint Peter & Saint Paul: Held on 29th June. Another celebration of the monsoon, this time by the fishing community particularly in Bardez taluka. The fishermen tie their boats together to form rafts which serve as makeshift stages. After a church service in the morning and a large feast the festival of Sangodd is held. Tiatrs, folk dances and music are performed before an audience who watch from the banks of the river.


Goa Statehood Day: Celebrated on 30th of May, State holiday to celebrate Goa becoming the 25th state of Indian Union on May 30, 1987.


Feast of St. Lawrence: The feast day is to celebrate the end of monsoon and the reopening of the Mandove to river traffic.


Navidades: Held on 24th August, the offering of the first sheaves of rice to the head of state.


Fama Se Menino Jesus: The feast is held at Colva on the second Monday of October and celebrates the ‘miraculous’ favor granted by the Menino Jesus which resides within the Church of Our Lady of Mercy in Colva.


Feast of Our Lady of Rosary: The event is organized on the 3rd Wednesday of November in Navelim’s Church.


Marathi Drama Festival: The festival takes place at Kala Academy from November to December.


Food and Culture Festival: A five day festival held on any one of the beaches in November or December to highlight Goan cuisine and entertainment.


Konkani Drama Festival: The festival is celebrated at Kala Academy during November and December.


Tiatri Festival: The festival is celebrated at Kala Academy during November


Feast of St. Francis Xavier: The feast is celebrated in Old Goa on 3rd December with processions and services. The feast of the patron saint of Goa is celebrated on the day he died in 1552. Preceding the feast, nine days of Novenas are held, attended by pilgrims from all over the world. Stalls selling sweetmeats, toys, clothing etc., line the streets.


Feast of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception: The event is held on or around 8th December in Panaji and Margao accompanied by a large fair.


Christmas Day: Christmas is celebrated as a holiday throughout Goa and India. Goa’s Catholics flock to midnight mass services traditionally called Missa de Galo or Cock Crow as they go on well into early hours of the morning. Christmas Day is marked with large family gatherings and feasting.


New Year’s Eve: Jubilant celebrations on the 31st of December, in the form of all-night street parties and beach parties anticipate the good things the New Year will bring.